PANDEMIC THOUGHTS                   

          Well, here we are at the end of May 2020 with the entire planet under various forms of societal lockdown and/or lockdown disengagement. And, here we are at CCI in Italy, and you our readers, here and in other countries, feeling we are getting toward some resolution. What does the future look like after this unprecedented occurrence? Here are some thoughts.


          In Phase 3 of Unlocking in Italy, we are finally able to see some measurable light – using proper sanitizing and distancing measures, small shops and offices, hotels, restaurants and bars are open at 50% capacity. The rules for real estate agencies for showing properties follow that of “low-risk activities” – proper sanitizing and distancing measures, as well as number control by size of space. So, in essence, using mandated precautions, CCI can show properties to our clients in person. However, this is not the current obstacle for international clients with interest in Italian properties. The difficulty is “in person” since international travel has not resumed, the aviation sector remains in almost total lockdown due to closed borders, and many people, even if and when aviation resumes, are reluctant to fly due to contagion dangers.
From outside Italy, you, our readers must also be aware of the situation inside your own country regarding travel. Borders are still closed everywhere, although some European countries wanting to quickly reopen their tourist sector, are planning July 1 as a target date (Greece for example). UK, USA, and Australia as well as Italy remain closed, and no border opening planned as of publishing date. Bottom line is right now from both ends of the equation, you can’t get out and you can’t get in. So…..what to do.
In surveys, Real Estate agents are commenting on the phenomenon of buyer “searching”, as possible clients may not be able to buy right now but that has not stopped them from searching on line for properties. Thanks to technology, clients still can view and shop properties. Actually, this is a great time to do so; many continue to work from home, which has allowed for search time efficiencies. Perhaps of even greater importance is the time to think about, or rethink, your Italian real estate priorities. Click on this link to read our previous writing on this subject. 

   So, now that priorities are solidified, what to do? Head for our website and review our property inventory with your specific  priorities in mind. You can contact us through the website for more information, and we will be happy to send you a video virtual tour of any property of interest. It does help to get a more in-depth perspective, as you get closer to an in-person visit, when one can be scheduled. 

                       STATE OF THE MARKETPLACE

Italian real estate marketplace is at this moment ……..interesting. Why do we say that? Of course, as with any business at this time in Italy, the general effect has been severe because businesses have been shut and customers have been locked down. In real estate this effect has varied with the region, depending on the effect of the virus on that region – the north, in particular Lombardy, the worst, then gradually lessening going south. Prior to the lockdown, a slight increase in sales were predicted, primarily due to slight easing of mortgage requirements, lower interest rates, and, (here is the interesting part) a rise in short term rentals making purchasing as a landlord an attractive proposition again.  Nomisma, an Italian market analysis firm, however, has predicted 10% drop in the residential property sales sector for 2020.

          Will this admittedly serious covid-19 effect on residential housing sales also affect housing prices? This is the question international buyers are asking, and the Bank of Italy recently advised in its Financial Stability Report, that as of the beginning of March 2020 there has been a serious drop in housing sales and buyer searches, especially in the northern regions; however, experts see the short term future of housing prices to be rather mixed. This is because, despite the drop in sales, there is not much evidence of an oversupply of properties on the market as yet, possibly because the pre-pandemic market sales consisted mostly of second homes – Italians not happy with demands of being a landlord, but who had enough financial liquidity to avoid underselling. Both Nomisma and the Bank of Italy, as well as other experts in the field see this situation as continuing. Therefore, demand is down but supply is steady, and so prices remain constant.

It is important to note, however, that there is a great deal of uncertainty in these predictions, and until the second quarter passes, it is very difficult to see any solidity in the real estate marketplace in Italy. As the closed European borders gradually re-open, and commerce begins, the picture will become clearer. That way, when the opening happens, you will be ready to move quickly and securely.

After all this gloomy news, check over the Italy House Price Index graph below for the near term predictions from Trading’s latest models – a slightly more expansive picture on which to base your plans.

Housing Index in Italy is expected to be 101.00 points by the end of this quarter,
according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations.
Looking forward, we estimate Housing Index in Italy to stand at 104.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Italy House Price Index is projected to trend around 106.00 points in 2021.

Now for some pleasant news and views. Here are several pictures of our latest property on offer. Something really different – totally renovated, 18th century post house, on a wonderful piece of land, in a small town only 30 minutes drive from Rome.

Now that you have some time for property deliberation, this could be a beam of inspiration — home, guest house? Located on the Via Flaminia, giving direct access to Rome, but also just a five minute walk and just across the road from the light rail station gain directly accessing Rome. Click on the link for more info.


Kathleen Ventre